Illegal immigration refers to the movement of a person or a group of people across a nation’s borders in a way that violates the destined country’s immigration laws (Chiswick, 2016). The reactions of illegal immigration have varied for different reasons. In many cases, people react on the issue based on the negative effects with which the immigrants come. Cases of illegal immigration are on the rise, and this is widely associated with global politics and economic conditions. While people have different reasons for migrating, they affect various aspects of the destined countries both positively and negatively.
Causes of Illegal Immigration
Illegal immigration has been a common issue in economically developed nations as most immigrants tend to migrate with the aim of looking for better lives (Planas, 2014). For instance, the United States has a better performing economy as compared to Mexico, which provides an incentive for illegal migration. It would be vital to consider that the United States recently placed measures to limit the number of persons achieving citizen status, which has further resulted in increased illegal immigrants. Also, some section of persons migrates with an aim to access better social services. A country such as the United States guarantees people security as compared to Middle East countries and Mexico among many others.
Effects of Illegal Immigration
The effects of illegal immigration can be grouped into political, economic, and social effects. All these categories have adverse effects on the associated countries, which explains why many governments tend to place measures to neither have the illegal immigrants arrested or punished.
The increased number of immigrants is fast changing the political landscape of different countries. The immigrants tend to have large families, which creates the need for political representation in the future. In such cases, the host countries are forced to consider the needs of the immigrant population. Also, it becomes harder for the government to find and deport all illegal immigrants, which means it has to meet the needs of all immigrant population.
Increased Pressure on the Government. In a country such as the United States, the immigrant population has boomed over time and resulted in a change in the political landscape. Having a new community fit in has also proved to be a challenge in some cases. For instance, the government has been forced to deal with the issue of immigrants taking local jobs. In such cases, the politicians are forced to act harshly in a bid to represent their constituents. When considering the United States, states such as Indiana, Michigan, and Mississippi lost seats in the House in 2000 while others such as Montana failed to get a single seat in the house (Camarota, Poston, & Baumle, 2003).
Effect on Presidential Elections. Illegal immigration has also been found to affect the presidential elections as it affects the size of the Electoral College. An effect on the presidential elections makes illegal immigration a threat to a country’s development as it will deny the locals the chance to practice their democratic rights in electing leaders of their choice (Camarota, Poston, & Baumle, 2003). The idea of “one man one vote” poses a political threat given the huge population disparities in immigrant and local zones. As previously stated, the immigrants tend to reproduce at a higher rate as compared to the locals. In addition, the immigrant population tends to be concentrated in specific states, which makes them an even bigger political threat.
Political Influence. Another challenge is that some members of the immigrants’ community have achieved political seats, which gives them authority in different organs of the government. This frustrates the efforts made by the locals and the government to reduce the negative effects caused by the presence of immigrants (Camarota, Poston, & Baumle, 2003). Usually, the immigrants enter the host countries and then later move to different areas or states. This means that if they were evenly distributed in different states, then they would have limited effect on the political landscape. However, they tend to take longer in moving to different states, and that increases their political influence.
Immigration Policies. The issue of illegal immigrants has subjected most governments to developing policies that manage such populations. In some cases, the governments might provide steps to be followed so that one enters the country legally (The Immigration Debate, 2017). However, the continuous entry of illegal immigrants forces the governments to revise such policies to make the measures stricter. In this case, the illegal immigrants shall have affected other immigrants that acquired their entry to the host countries through legal means. Such policies require funding, which results in increased taxes for the government to run such programs.
Judicial Issues. Since the illegal immigrants are usually non-citizens, it means that it becomes a challenge to have them tried in the local courts (9 Biggest Illegal Immigration Pros and Cons, 2015). The American courts face this challenge, which has resulted in increased crime rates. In some cases, the criminals just engage in crime and then flee to their countries. This means that such criminal activities go unpunished when happening and is common in the United States.
Economic Effects of Illegal Immigration
Employment Opportunities. The most popular economic effect of illegal immigration is taking local jobs (Reynolds, 2014). In many cases, the immigrants are usually willing to work for more hours at a fraction of the wages demanded by the locals. This makes them a better choice for most employers, which increases the unemployment rates among the local population. Unemployment is still a major problem in many countries, and the fact that immigrants take jobs from the locals tends to make the situation even worse. In many cases, the immigrants usually engage in casual jobs as they lack the proper documentation to work in the formal sector. The informal sector is usually difficult to track for purposes of taxes, which makes it ideal for illegal immigrants.
Taxes. The fact that illegal immigrants mostly engage in odd jobs means that they rarely contribute towards the state economy. Their tendency to demand social services such as education and health services without necessarily contributing towards financing such initiatives increases the burden load to the government. In some cases, they intentionally avoid paying tax as that would expose them to various agencies that would deport them to their mother countries. Given the high number of illegal immigrants, the amount of tax that is denied to the state and federal governments becomes huge in a way that affects the country’s economic performance.
When analyzed from a different perspective, the failure of the immigrants to pay the tax would mean that the locals get to incur the increased tax costs, which is unfair. Given the high rates at which illegal immigration takes place, this increased cost is likely to overwhelm the locals and cause a crisis.
Security.The high presence of illegal immigrants usually poses a security threat to the local resources and citizens. The fact that the immigrant gain entry to the country illegally could mean they have ill intentions with the visit. This has resulted in increased expenditure by governments by placing border patrols along the borders to reduce the rates at which immigrants gain entry. Running such an operation requires a lot of funding for equipment and human resource. Such funds could have been used in different development initiatives and yielded greater benefits.
Common security threats include burglaries and mugging. However, in some extreme cases, terrorism could be a possibility. For instance, in the case of immigration from Syria to Europe, there is a possibility that terrorists could also take advantage and gain entry to the European nations (William, 2017). It also becomes expensive for the government to vet all immigrants to determine whether they pose a threat towards the nation. The fact that these immigrants are undocumented makes it easier to commit crimes and not get caught. Since the investigative systems are usually based on the records of people, this would make such attempts futile. This demonstrates the high number of illegal immigrants in a country such as the United States is a security risk.
Most illegal immigrants usually engage in illegal activities such as human and drug trafficking. These activities are a security threat to both the locals and other immigrants. For instance, in states widely associated with drugs, cases of violence tend to be higher as compared to states without. Studies show that in 2014, illegal immigrants were associated with 75 percent of drug possessions (Jasiurkowski, 2016). Other criminal activities that are associated with illegal immigrants include kidnapping, rape, and varying degrees of murder in some extreme cases. This becomes even worse when some of the countries of origin consider it normal to engage in such activities. The class of cultures becomes a negative impact that is associated with illegal immigrants in a given country.
Labor.The tendency of most illegal immigrants to engage in drug peddling and traffic means that the locals become addicts or dealers (Camarota, Poston, & Baumle, 2003). Drug addicts rarely make a meaningful contribution towards the economy as they are unable to either secure or maintain their employment positions. In some cases, the addiction occurs when people already have established employment positions, which results in a loss of human resource pool.
It also affects students, which affects the future of the economy. Many students tend to take drugs during parties, and that affects their performances. Hypothetically, if students had little or no access to drugs, then they are likely to have more time for their studies. This also means that despite the investments by the government in the education sector, student performance will still be poor due to drug abuse, which has been found to be associated with many illegal immigrants.
Social Welfare Programs.Countries such as America has various welfare programs which provide motive for people to enter the country illegally. For instance, when a child is born in American territory, he/she is considered American regardless of whether the parents are illegal immigrants (9 Biggest Illegal Immigration Pros and Cons, 2015).
The presence of such welfare programs makes it attractive for people to give birth in America as their children will have access to welfare services. In this case, the presence of children with immigrant parents overburdens the system, thereby increasing the costs of running such programs.
Increased Population. Illegal immigration results in a high population, which affects state planning (10 Critical Pros and Cons of Illegal Immigration, 2015). In many cases, the census is taken with the aim of ensuring the country can plan and have equitable resource allocation. However, with increased illegal immigration, it becomes a challenge for the government to allocate resources for all citizens. The fact that illegal immigrants also access social services such as health and education shows why the increase in population poses a threat to national development.
The fact that the illegal immigrants tend to reproduce at a higher rate makes them a bigger threat to the economy.
Social Effects of Illegal Immigration
Illegal immigration also affects the social structure of the countries in which they reside. This is based on the effects of the services demanded and how this affects the locals. These effects vary for different countries depending on the nature of immigrants and countries involved.
Prostitution.Prostitution is common with many illegal immigrants, which is considered a social evil in most countries. In many cases, people engage in prostitution due to the inability to meet their basic needs. For instance, most of the persons engaging in prostitution are usually victims of human trafficking. This means that the large market for prostitution affects the social structure of many countries. Many studies have shown that the United States government has made several arrests of people placing advertisements of jobs in the country only to force the illegal immigrants to engage prostitution (Woworuntu, 2016). Even though one could argue that it is not the locals that engage in prostitution but it becomes logical to consider the people who demand the prostitution services. This explains why it degrades the society of the host countries.
Crimes. Many illegal immigrants engage in social evils such as criminal activities, which affects the livelihoods of the locals (Woworuntu, 2016). For instance, most states along the border usually have security issues because of the differences in cultures. Since it is difficult for the government to measure criminality, it becomes even harder for the government to associate the illegal immigrants with several criminal activities. High insecurities affect people’s lives, which portrays the biggest threat associated with illegal immigrants.
This could also be associated with the population boom associated with the immigrant communities. When there is population increase, people are likely to struggle for available resources, which in this case are also shared with the local population. In this case, the criminal activities not only become associated with the illegal immigrants but the legal ones as well.
The Introduction of Foreign Culture. Since countries have diverse cultures, it becomes a negative impact when one is introduced and has adverse effects (Woworuntu, 2016). For instance, some countries are widely associated with violence, which means they are likely to introduce such culture in the host countries. This usually takes quite a longer time to gain effect, but given the tendency of immigrant populations to grow rapidly, this becomes a threat to the host country’s culture.
In addition, many illegal immigrants usually engage in their languages, which threatens that of the host country. For instance, in the United States, the Spanish language has become common with many Mexicans as they have a big population. This poses a threat to the native cultures, especially in states in which population growth is minimal. For instance, the fact that the Mexican population in the United States has grown rapidly means they have a greater political influence, which could be used to change different programs in their favor.
Over time, the states in which the illegal immigrants are concentrated become reliant on their language in a way that affects people socially. For instance, political aspirants will be forced to address people in their language, which means a loss in the country’s culture and an embrace of the immigrants. Depending on their
Human Right Abuse. The fact that people are illegal immigrants means that they are vulnerable to exploitation on many occasions. Being an illegal immigrant means that one cannot make reports to the police or other security agencies. This makes it simpler for employers to exploit the involved persons.
In many cases, the exploitation is practiced by employers by subjecting the immigrants to low pay or inhumane conditions in some cases. They usually have to comply with such needs as the alternative would be deportation to their mother countries. In some cases, they are also blackmailed by the locals for personal gains. Either way, it becomes very simple for people to exploit the illegal immigrants, which tends to be a social issue when considering human rights.
Women tend to be victims of exploitation as sexual violence is common with illegal immigrants (Gorman, 2014). It has also been found that most of them women migrating to the United States tend to be common victims of sexual violence and take birth control as a means to protect themselves. The fact that they consider taking birth control pills shows why this tends to be a bigger issue than one would imagine. This is an issue that mostly affects women because they are more vulnerable as compared to men.
Breaking the Family Structure. Most of the social issues associated with illegal immigrants affect the family structure (Ewing, 2012). For instance, increased criminal activities result in loss of lives. This loss of lives, whether associated with the aggressors or victims, will result in loss of family members. The abuse of drugs also affects people at the family level as they are forced to engage in social crimes such as prostitution or theft.
Family is the basic unit of society, which makes it a vital aspect. The people who migrate illegally also leave behind their family members with the hope of better lives. This means that people get separated from their families and are forced to start new lives.
Illegal immigration remains a big issue in different places mostly located in Europe and the United States. The immigrants usually seek to find better economic conditions but are faced with several challenges. One of the factors to consider is that the illegal immigrants comprise different people with good or bad intentions. The people with bad intentions usually engage in criminal activities among other social evils. However, the ones with good intentions usually seek employment opportunities or flee war-torn countries. Even though the intentions of illegal immigrants vary, they still cause negative effects. The fact that they affect countries socially, economically, and politically makes it a vital issue to be considered.
Governments are tasked with the challenging task of fighting the illegal entry of immigrants, which results in spending taxpayer money. The introduction of immigration programs means that the government has to fund programs and implement the same. In addition, the judiciary is unable to prosecute such immigrants, which increases the rate of social justices, which affects the same people that the law is supposed to protect. Many cases prosecuted in the United States associated with issues such as rape, kidnapping, and burglary have involved illegal immigrants.
Socially, people are forced to deal with harsh life conditions when that should not be the case. Most governments subject people to paying taxes with the aim of welfare provision. When the immigrants become overpopulated, they tend to exhaust such welfare services, which affects the locals, who are legally entitled to such services. In this case, there forms a social barrier between the locals and immigrants, which in some cases turns violent. The fact that most immigrant zones have rapid population growth also makes it difficult for the government to determine the entry of immigrants into such zones.
Governments should avoid the provision of amnesty to illegal immigrants in any situation. This will ensure that all people entering a country illegally are certain that they will face the full force of the law. Most people make such entries with the hope that they will be granted amnesty, which makes it worth the risk.
The entry of expectant women should be limited as it would save the American welfare programs from excessive costs. In addition, it should increase investments in border patrol as it would greatly limit the number of immigrants entering the country. This way, the government will have an easier time dealing with the immigrants already within the borders. In addition, the government should consider placing stronger measures on the immigration policy to control the immigrant populations. This would ensure that they only accept a population that can be sustained by the economy. Provided the government can maintain the immigrant population without jeopardizing the needs of its citizens then it can be guaranteed good relations.
The immigration policies on human rights should be revised so that any cases of abuse be reported to the relevant agencies. For instance, by investing in security, the government can ensure that social evils such as human trafficking and prostitution are avoided. This would be an ideal way through which the social evils associated with illegal immigration are eliminated.
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